Two Typefaces Help Aetna Reposition As Health Partner

WPP global brand agency Brand Union, has reimagined a new visual identity for healthcare giant Aetna, which is transitioning from being known primarily as a health insurance provider to a full-scale, consumer-focused health partner. Working in collaboration with creative WPP sibling agency Ogilvy, Brand Union developed a fresh color palette, typography as well as photography, icon and illustration styles for the new Aetna campaign, dubbed “You Don’t Join Us, We Join You.”



“This was one of those rare, enviable briefs from a client, in that it came from an industry we all have a strong connection to, about a topic we all care about, and it featured a mandate from the highest levels of an organization for real change,” explains Brand Union Executive Creative Director, Sam Becker. “To be sure, repositioning a health insurance giant such as Aetna, as a future-oriented tech/health company was no easy task. In order to change consumers perceptions of a brand like Aetna, virtually synonymous with the insurance category it sits in, required us to think differently about the strategy, the brief and even some of our own processes.”



The foundation for this new design language were two typefaces: The first is Domaine, a “strong, evocative serif” with an editorial sensibility, employed to communicate empathy and collaboration. Second, Brand Union utilized Open Sans, “a hardworking digital native typeface” to be used more frequently, especially in Aetna’s suite of slated products and services. This same thinking inspired the brand’s iconography, which uses a newer, simplified color palette.



Additionally teaming up with fellow WPP agency OgilvyRED, which oversaw brand strategy to position Aetna as a partner on a journey to better health, Brand Union helped create a visual template, complete with imagery of candid, authentic moments to help compel existing and prospective clients. “When considering the competitive landscape, we thought broadly about brands that support and inspire a fanatically loyal customer base, considering unexpected companies like Nike, Apple, Capsule and Spotify,” says Becker. “As many in this emerging space know, it’s not enough to ask people to live healthier lives. You must motivate them to do it.”

Aetna VP of Enterprise Marketing is Wendy Wahl.